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Handshake Research Paper

There were assumptions made by public opinion that there was a correlation between “ideal” handshakes and non-ideal handshakes affecting job Offers, but there was never a controlled scientific study conducted. This study wanted to be the first, its purpose being to attempt to examine how the handshake conveys information about the candidate’s personality, hiring recommendations, and women’s handshake ratings in relation to men. The first research question raised was “is the handshake quality related to ratings in employment interviews?

There has already been correlation evidence between positive non-verbal cues being attributed to interviewer liking in relation to posture, smiling and eye contact. A handshake is also a non-verbal cue but involves communication through touch. Touch such as a handshake can convey immediacy between interviewer and candidate, Immediacy meaning a physical or psychological closeness. Immediacy is attributed to the extent that an interviewer likes a candidate. Where as a quality handshake can convey higher immediacy, an unfavorable one can decrease a candidate’s likableness.

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The hypothesis constructed to answer he first research question was that “Individuals with a firm handshake will receive more positive evaluations during employment interviews. ” The second research question raised was “what does the handshake communicate? ” Researchers found that the handshake can be correlated with certain personality traits. Personality traits, such as the five-factor model, include neurotics, agreeableness, conscientiousness, openness, and extroversion. Previous studies referenced that the personality trait extroversion can be attributed to interview success.

A firm handshake can be Hough to reflect high extroversion and therefore reflect interview success. The hypotheses constructed to answer the second research question were “extroversion will correlate positively with handshake ratings” and ‘the handshake is a behavioral mediator of the relationship between extroversion and heritability evaluations in employment interviews. ” The third research question was “does a handshake place women at a disadvantage in employment interviewer Research prior to the study showed evidence that while men are better at portraying their ideas; women are better at nonverbal communication.

While some would argue that since women are better at nonverbal communication they would probably not be disadvantaged, prior studies found handshaking scores to be lower in women. Therefore the hypothesis to answer this research question was ” handshakes from women will be rated less favorably than are handshakes from men, which will result in lower interviewer assessments for women. ” The study was conducted at a university and participants were undergraduate students. Students were instructed that they would be participating in a mock interview unaware that the study was assessing mandrakes.

There were five independent trained raters that would assess each candidate, rating on a five-point scale on the quality of the handshake based on five categories. The results found that Hypothesis one was supported because there was a positive correlation between a firm handshake and interview ratings. Hypothesis two was supported as well because a firm handshake correlated with extroversion. Hypothesis three was supported because the handshake operated as a mediator. Hypothesis four however Was proven false; women scored lower On handshakes but Geiger interview ratings.

In the conclusion of the study, extroverted candidates have a firm grip that is attributed to job success. When examining the results of the last research question in regards to women and handshake ratings, researchers explained results that while women lacked in grip during a handshake they excelled in other nonverbal areas like eye contact. They also found that if women and men both had equally weak handshakes that there was no change in results but when men and women shared the same firmness the women had higher ratings.

The data and results found from the Handshake study I found could be very useful information for me in my future career in two ways. The first is that I plan on working as a Human Resource manager and will be expected to conduct interviews. In these interviews I value having this information because instead of connecting extroversion to a firm handshake subconsciously, I am aware of it. Extroversion has been linked to job performance, and therefore I want to pay attention to handshakes from interviewee’s, while also being aware of possible biases associated with gender.

I also value this data because I will be in the job market within the next couple years and will be an interviewee, so want to pay special attention to the message my handshake conveys about me. As referenced in the final evaluations of the results, I believe that could have an advantage being a woman and delivering a strong handshake. If there is evidence finding women excel in nonverbal communication then I want to be prepared to take full advantage of it by encompassing a firm handshake as well.

I think that employees looking for a job especially should take into account hat something seemingly so simple like a handshake can say a lot about a candidate to an employer. It stresses that employees need to be informed on what non verbal cues employers are looking for, maybe just as much as what they are saying in an interview. To do this, employees looking for a job can look at the results of this study and do their research on how handshakes, eye contact and other nonverbal communication is favored in an interview. Once knowing this information, employees should practice with peers, family and strangers to be able to get feedback.

It may sound silly but with the compelling arguments made in the article, it could make an impact on interview ratings. Especially regarding the data about women and men having equally firm handshakes, and the woman having a higher rating makes it that more relevant for women to be aware. In a society where gender discrimination in the workplace does exist, women knowing and practicing something like an appropriate handshake could put them at an advantage. The article raised really relevant questions regarding nonverbal communication and job interview success, which just surprised me to know hat the research had not been done earlier.


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